I have just set up my first Picture Library on our SharePoint Online tenant.

Uploading images to the library created thumbnail and preview images worked just fine.

Then I moved some of the pictures into a folder. Now no thumbnail or preview shows up for any of the moved images, instead I just get a broken link icon.

Is there a way to get SharePoint to regenerate the thumbnails and previews or do I need to remove the files and upload them to their new location to get them working again?


2 Answers 2


Thumbnails are only created when a picture is uploaded to a Picture Library, as during the process of uploading, thumbnail versions of the pictures are added to a hidden _t-folder located by the Picture Library. This is a feature associated with the built-in Picture Library, which is all but simple to be done for other library/folder types. In addition, this possibly isn't doable at all in SharePoint Online.

There's a lengthy article detailing the technical background of thumbnail and how it could be done from the scratch for SharePoint's previous version(s): Need a Thumbnail Field in the Document library for the uploaded picture… Then read this post.

My knowledge might be outdated, but I think you won't receive thumbnails of the pictures even if you re-add the pictures to the child folders. Therefore your best bet would be to add the thumbnail referred from the source it was originally stored at. To do so, you'd need to inspect the elements of the thumbnails in your source-location (i.e. the location from where you are about to move the pictures), get the URL for the thumbnail, and finally use it at your destination folder's thumbnail-column.

  • 1
    I have discovered that re-uploading the images to their new location does actually create the thumbnails in the right place. So I guess if we could use folders in the picture library as long as we avoid moving images once they've been uploaded to the folder. Thanks for getting back to me. I clicked the up button for your post but apparently I don't have a high enough score to up rate
    – ChrisL
    Jul 14, 2017 at 15:25

Thumbnails and previews might not work in picture library folders. Better not to use folders and create separate libraries instead of folders.

Also keep in mind that slideshows lost ootb functionality. https://support.microsoft.com/en-in/help/4021555/non-cdn-enabled-sharepoint-picture-library-slideshow-web-part-no-longe

  • Thanks for your reply. I've discovered I can upload images directly into folders and the previews will be created in the right place, it's just moving them that breaks the functionality. The slideshows thing is less of an issue for us as the library is going to be used as a resource where people can download images for use in corporate documents, slide shows, websites, etc. Search and download are the most important functions for us. I have tried to uprate your comment but apparently I don't have a high enough score to do that.
    – ChrisL
    Jul 14, 2017 at 15:29
  • My answer seemed wrong then. Thanks for your comment.
    – Murphy
    Jul 17, 2017 at 7:55

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